Volume 47 - Number 4 - 2006 | DOI: 10.5032/jae.2006.04001
Increasingly, agriscience teachers are called upon to demonstrate their contributions to student achievement in math, science, and reading. This national survey of 216 agriscience teachers investigated the current attitudes and practices related to reading in agriscience. Agriscience teachers generally appreciated reading for personal development and learning, but were in less agreement about allocation of time for reading. Further, teachers agreed that reading was important in agriscience, but were in less agreement about their role in teaching content area reading strategies (CARS). Reading is a fundamental part of instruction in agriscience, with nearly 20% of class time being devoted to reading. Teachers exhibited limited knowledge of, confidence in, and frequency of CARS use. Teachers understood how to select textbooks and how to assess student comprehension. Indications suggested that teachers helped students summarize, determine important ideas, generate questions, and define unfamiliar words. However, they did not regularly help students think aloud, make predictions, use multiple strategies, activate background knowledge, preview texts, or create graphic organizers. In essence, teachers need assistance in helping students with the first two micro-periods of reading and professional development to boost knowledge, confidence, and frequency of use of content area reading strategies (CARS).